Last night we talked about teen sex at dinner. It was awkward and my son turned to me and asked, “Can we please stop talking about this?” But we couldn’t. At least, I couldn’t. I had a disturbing conversation with a friend earlier in the day and I wanted to talk about it with my kids.

A friend told me about a 16-year-old who has been having sex with his girlfriend on a park bench almost every day.  She asked me what I thought about it.  I told her I thought it happens A LOT — especially during summer. But I also told my friend I think there is a case to be made for letting your teen have sex with his girlfriend or boyfriend in their bedroom.

Many years ago, I overheard a mother telling her friend that her daughter and her boyfriend had sex often in her daughter’s bedroom. Her friend seemed shocked. To be honest, I was kind of shocked, too. Maybe it was because my kids were young at the thought of  teen sex hadn’t really been something I had given much thought.

Now, I am thinking a lot about where teens should have sex.

Should teen sex happen the park, in a car, or at some other public venue?

If you haven’t heard the latest news story about teen sex, here’s what has the Internet  buzzing:  Four teenagers are facing charges of disorderly conduct by after they were accused of having sex on a Cape Cod beach on the Fourth of July as crowds looked on and shouted USA, according to news reports.

Oddly enough, I read about this situation right after a friend asked me whether she should buy condoms for her 16-year-old son.  She wasn’t sure if he was sexually active, but she thought he was at the age where she should have them available. Now, I know there are mixed feelings about providing protection and encouraging your teen to have sex, but personally I don’t want my teens to put themselves in a risky situation.

A few years ago, I walked into my neighborhood clubhouse and found a teen couple having sex on the couch. At the time, I thought: “At least they are inside where they are somewhat safe!”

I hate the idea of my kids having sex at random public places like beaches or parks, but I am realistic that this kind of teen behavior happens frequently.

Online comments on news sites about the two teen couples having sex on the Cape Cod beach are mixed. Some people believe the teens were just having fun and should have been left alone by the police. Others are horrified that the teens would be having sex on a public beach with families nearby.

While the teens didn’t exactly use good judgment, I don’t think they should have been arrested for disorderly conduct. A warning would have been enough.

So  the question I have for my fellow parents is this: What if you know your teen is sexually active? Should you make it easy and safe for them to have sex by allowing them privacy at your home? If not, are you taking a chance that your kid will be the one causing an incident on the beach on the Fourth of July?